Assistantships frequently asked questions

Pay and benefits

  • What if I don't get my first paycheck on time?
    Speak with the department's graduate secretary, the department administrative assistant or the person who offered you the assistantship position. That person should be able to explain why you did not get a paycheck and when you can expect one. They can trace your appointment payroll documents through the appropriate offices to find out where the problem is. Those offices include your school/college dean's office and Human Resources.
  • What if I have a question about my medical, dental or vision benefits?
    The answer may be readily available on the Total Compensation and Wellness website. If your question is related to a particular health insurance carrier (e.g., HAP), then you will need to contact the health care provider directly. The health care provider website links are available on the Benefits Administration site. The Benefits Administration Office is at 3638 Academic/Administration Building, 313-577-3717.
  • What is the Graduate School policy on pregnancy leave?
    Article XI, K of the GEOC-AFT Contract explains the provisions that apply to a parental leave of absence for GSAs and GTAs. The Graduate School policy extends this benefit to GRAs. The Parental Accommodation Period should not exceed six (6) weeks and begins at the child's birth or the day an adopted child joins the family of the employee. Submit a leave of absense request no later than four (4) weeks prior to the schedule start of the leave.
  • Where and how do I sign up for parking?
    Go to the Parking and Transportation Services and OneCard offices, jointly located in room 257 of the Welcome Center, 42 W. Warren, to complete the necessary forms. The telephone numbers are 313-577-3704 and 313-577-9513, respectively.



  • I have a HOLD and I can't register. What should I do?

    Determine what kind of HOLD you have. If the information regarding the hold is unclear, ask your department's graduate secretary or administrative assistant. They should be able to determine the type of HOLD you have and then you proceed as follows:

    • International Student/Health Insurance HOLD go to the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), suite 416 of the Welcome Center, 313-577-3422.
    • Candidacy/Academic HOLD if you are a master's student, go to your department or school/college graduate office (typically this office is within the school/college dean's office). If you are a Ph.D. student, go to the Graduate School Ph.D. Office.
    • Financial HOLD first determine if you are responsible for any of your tuition assessment. 


Full-time status, minimum enrollment or support maximums

  • I do not have any credits left to take and I need to be full-time, and/or I want to be a graduate assistant and don't have the minimum six credits remaining to take. What can I do?
    • If you are a master's student and have completed all course and thesis credits, you cannot be considered full-time unless you are enrolled for eight credits (fall or winter) and/or two credits during the spring/summer. You can request approval to be a graduate assistant for one semester only, as long as you are enrolled for one required credit. Submit a written request, signed by your advisor, to the dean of the Graduate School, 5057 Woodward, suite 6305.
    • If you are a Ph.D. student and have completed all required credits, you may enroll for maintenance fee status. This will permit you to be considered full-time and to be supported as a graduate assistant as long as you have not exceeded the maximum number of semesters of support.
    • If you are an international student, you must also get approval from the Office of International Students and Scholars.
  • What is the maximum number of semesters that I can be supported?
    You can be supported for no more than a total of 12 semesters in any combination of assistantship or institutional fellowship.

Additional service assignments

  • I am a graduate assistant and I want to work at another job too. Can I do this?
    If the other job is within the university, all graduate assistants must request and receive prior approval to do this. Submit a completed, fully signed copy of the additional service assignment Request form. If the other job is outside the university, graduate research assistants must request approval. Follow the procedure outlined above for within the university. Graduate teaching assistants and graduate student assistants are permitted to accept employment outside the university in accordance with the regulations outlined in the GEOC/AFT Labor Agreement (Article XXII).

GEOC/AFT contract

Miscellaneous questions